Ford unveiled its nine-passerger vehicle, Excursion, which is the largest sport-utility vehicles before Hummer passed it. It weights about 8500 pounds in equivalent to three Honda Civics. It is a relatively investment for Ford because it can earn about $20,000 per vehicle sold. Excursion belong to classification of medium-duty truck and allowed to emit more smog causing than passenger cars. And Ford claim that its mission of pollutants is 43% below of its standard, which about 10 to 15 miles per gallon. Also ford claim that 20% of the vehicle are from recycled materials and the recyclable part of one car could reach to 85%. The car manufacture believe that their car is environmental friendly. While the environmentalists do not agree with Ford. Ford is no where near producing a product of environmentally friendly. According to Daniel Becker from Sierra Club, Excursion will emit the green housing gases carbon dioxide to 130 tons over the course of an average lifetime. John DeCicco also expressed that Ford is “ the antithesis of green leadership.” Bill ford vow that the company will be made into environmentally conscious, friendly and responsible one. While, at the same time, with GE, the two head of the company keeps lobbying the Congress on the new mandates of the car emission. Ford fails at improve fuel energy by 2005. Excursion has been dropped out from its product line. They are developing a gas eletric hybrid.
- are environmentalists right to be concerned about the environmental impact of SUVs? How do you explain the demand for ever larger passenger vehicles? Will higher gas prices change that?
Environmentalists are right to be concerned about the environmental impact of SUVs.
The emission of vehicles has a big impact on the global warming effect. Furthermore, the gas emitted from the car contains a variety of toxic substances that can cause harm to life. Carbon dioxide, carbon monoxide and nitrogen oxides have worsened the deteriorated ozone layer. Suspended particles in the atmosphere affect the air quality, which easily lead to a variety of respiratory diseases and cancer. For air pollution, car emission gas includes carbon monoxide and nitrous oxide and other greenhouse gases. These gases can hinder the sun’s rays that reflected by the surface of the earth. Solar energy is trapped in the Earth’s atmosphere and causes temperature changes. This is one of the main reasons for global warming. It is estimated that global temperatures have risen markedly in the last hundred years, and if the emission of cars is not being restrained, temperatures will increase rapidly and pose a threat to human race on the planet. Although Most of the car’s fuel-efficient design is perfect, but after working for years, the engine efficiency drops and causes toxic substances to leak. These contaminants are also harmful to humans and can cause human respiratory disease and lung cancer. These toxic gases also destroy plants that are important to the ecological cycle. One of the biggest threats of car pollution is to empty the ozone layer. The ozone layer prevents harmful ultraviolet rays (UV) from penetrating the atmosphere. UV radiation can also cause many diseases and alter the biological genetic makeup.
In many models, the big emission of SUV clearly make SUV the “big polluters.” In 2008 Forbes ranking of “the most dirty models”, SUV and pickup truck ranks high on the list. According to the data of Pew climate change center, for carbon emissions, the emission of a big SUV such as Land Rover are found twice as much as the ordinary cars emission. SUV emission could reach to 2.0 liters or more, some of them could reach about 4.0 liters, on average, it consumes 16 liters of gases of every 100 km, it obviously emit more than private passenger cars. Of course, for cars, environmental protection is just a relative concept. Because each car itself is a source of pollution, let alone the emissions the industrial waste generated in end of the manufacture.The SUV as a high fuel consumption and high emissions models, will certainly bring more pollution than the general passenger cars.
For the demand for ever larger passenger vehicles, the following reasons can explain this. SUV do have its advantages. Most of the advantages are due to its size. The trunk space is larger, the conventional volume has been greater than the sedan, it is spacious enough to hold large pieces, such as bicycles, furniture, baby carriage. Although it is not that wide, but the vertical space is larger, people can sit straight and their legs do not need to curl. It is a more comfortable for the driver. At the same time,this high and straight sitting position feature is also more easier to install child safety seats. The Vision is much higher and wider, the driver could see farther. The driving experience not only makes the driver feel better but also make it more easier to observe the road. With higher car body and wider field of vision, the driver can get psychological advantage driving in the congested city. With more body weight and harder chassis, SUV can give a greater sense of security. The spacious SUV trunk can hold a lot of stuff. The most import thing is that it represent a life style, free. The reason that people tend to choose SUV is that it can not only roar on the city road but also drive easily in the rural dirt road. Just as the article indicated “ Although most SUVs never leave the pavement, their drivers like knowing their vehicles can go anywhere and do anything, they also like their SUVs to be big.” This is the relative competitiveness of SUV car. A Dutch friend of mine bought a Volvo SUV when he worked in Africa. When he returned home, he even transported the SUV back.He said: “Although I can drive a smaller car to go to work, but the weekend travel or vacation have to rely on this SUV! This idea is pretty common amoung. Europeans.
I believe the higher gas prices will impact the people’s choice when purchasing a car, but it will not be able to totally change that situation. To change that, other measures are needed. According to a survey by Tencent.com in 2014, the consumer is very sensitive to the prices of oil gas, the higher price will impact people’s choice when purchasing a car. The survey results show that the “small displacement vehicles” have become the preferred fuel-efficient models in the eyes of the respondents , followed by “manual car” and “turbocharged engine models.” In the way using the car, the increase of oil prices also have a great impact on the consumers. To reduce fuel costs, more than 60% of the car owners have the concern to save money and most of the respondents “to consider changing fuel-efficient models.” The results of the survey further show that the impact of rising oil prices on the frequency the owner utilizing the car, the vast majority of respondents said they would “reduce the number of driving, choose more public transportation” and “to develop good driving habits.” Oil prices rise caused the increase in the cost of car is an indisputable fact, while it also bring about economic burden to car owners. The survey showed that more than 90% of the respondents indicated that the rising of the oil price had “increased” the economic burden to various degrees. The high oil price will promote more consumers to choose more small displacement vehicles.
- Is Ford Motor Company simply responding to consumer demand for large vehicles, so is it helping to shape and encourage that demand.
I believe Ford Motor Company is actually encouraging the need of people because it is very profitable for them. Just as the article stated, It is a relatively investment for Ford because it can earn about $20,000 per vehicle sold. And the company would be able to develop the vehicle for a very modest investment of $500 million. They are not only producing the car for the people, they are also creating demand from the people. So I think it is helping to shape and encourage that demand.
- should there be tighter pollution restrictions on SUVs? Should the government try to discourage the production and use of SUVs?
There should be tighter pollution restrictions on SUVs. If the automaker can not act social responsibly for they are profit driven, the government should enforce them to do so. Many Countries are doing it. From Spain to Switzerland, many countries have promulgated a ban on SUV, levied high taxes or suggested that people do not buy this car. In Paris, vice mayor of the city of France, Denis Bopan publicly support the removal of the SUV from the urban area of Paris, Italy is discussing whether collecting 1,000 euros from the owner of the SUV, while the Dutch city of Amsterdam is considering refusing four-wheel drive vehicles into the urban areas by not setting the parking spaces for the SUV owner. The Consumers not only have to pay a lot of oil fees, they have to bear the high tax purchasing the car, the road fee is also higher than that of the ordinary car. In the Netherlands, a 17,000 euros low-end SUV contains about 3000 euros of luxury consumption tax, the tax of high-end SUV is even more. In addition, the road tax of the ordinary vehicle monthly is no more than 10 to 20 euros, while the SUV road tax has to double it. Not only that, with the implementation of the European four standards, many countries have became more and more strict on the control of automobile emissions more, many countries even directly start to limit the emission of the SUV. The Obama administration has also begun to adopt a more robust approach to tackle climate problems. Which includes forcing the US automakers to accept stringent emissions regulations: requiring SUV emissions to be reduced by one-third by 2014; by 2016, SUV’s petrol mileage is expected to reach an average of 35.5 miles per gallon ( About 15 km per liter of oil), so that the US standard for the first time keeps in line with the European and Japanese standards.
While I do not think the government should try to discourage the production of SUV, because it is the right of the automaker to choose what kind of vehicle they produce, if the vehicle can meet the requirement of the country standard, which means it will not impose significant problem on the environments and society, I see no problem they have such products. Actually more and more automakers are considering developing new energy SUV, just as Ford did. But I think the government should call for people to buy small emission vehicles, tax or fees could be added in the price of the car, which is to compensate the lost of environmental pollution . The important thing is that the government watch closely on the if the emission meets the standards of the country and have the means the implement the regulations.